News Release

July 20, 2005

Contact: Carolyn Pennington, 860-679-4864

Children’s Programs Recognized for Outstanding Dedication to Americans with Disabilities Act

15th Anniversary of the ADA commemorated on July 26

FARMINGTON, CONN. – The Connecticut Developmental Disabilities Network in collaboration with the Americans with Disabilities Act Coalition of Connecticut will mark the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act by recognizing several organizations across the state that have gone above and beyond the requirements of the law to make their programs accessible and useable to children with disabilities. The recognition ceremony will take place on July 26 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

“We wanted to honor organizations that understand the true meaning of the ADA,” said Mary Eberle with the UConn Center on Developmental Disabilities and the chair of the Connecticut Developmental Disabilities Network, “people with disabilities are members of their communities and want to be able to do all the things that other members of the community can do.”

This year the group focused on children’s programs and specifically those that are held in the summer, for instance, activities at state and local parks, playgrounds and museums. While a number of organizations met the criteria, four were chosen to be recognized at this year’s celebration as excellent examples of inclusive, accessible children’s programs.

“The organizations we chose didn’t just set up “special” programs or facilities for children with disabilities and then segregate them from other children,” Eberle explained. “They made their regular activities and facilities accessible and welcoming to all children which fosters the interaction of children with disabilities with their non-disabled peers.”

The four organizations that are being recognized are:

  • Groton Parks and Recreation Department
  • National Center for Boundless Playgrounds based in Bloomfield
  • Windsor Parks and Recreation Department and Northwest Park
  • Connecticut Children’s Museum in New Haven

“We honor these four specific programs this year because they have done more than their part to change the world for children who, if not for the ADA, wouldn’t be participating in hiking or theater or a museum or a playground,” said Lisa Caron, Project Director of the Americans with Disabilities Act Coalition of Connecticut. Caron added, “We look forward to working for a future of access and equality for all and spreading the spirit of the ADA!”

The recognition ceremony will be held Tuesday, July 26 at 10 a.m. in room 1D of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. Children who have benefited from the various programs will be in attendance to talk with the media.

The Developmental Disabilities Network is a partnership of the Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Connecticut Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities and the University of Connecticut A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service.

UConn Health includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital. Home to Bioscience Connecticut, UConn Health pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. More information about UConn Health is available at

Note: News professionals are invited to visit the UConn Health Today news page ( for regularly updated news and feature stories, photos and media stories. News releases are archived at UConn Health news and information is also available on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.